Austerity cuts killed tens of thousands from 2010 onwards

Thu,21 October 2021
News Equality & Rights

Austerity cuts killed tens of thousands from 2010 onwards

Austerity cuts from 2010 onwards have killed tens of thousands more people in England than previously thought, according to a new large study.

Research by the University of York published in BMJ Open found that the joint impact of cuts to healthcare, public health and social care since 2010 found that the cuts were linked to 57,550 more deaths than would have been expected between 2010 and 2014.

The study also found that life expectancy improvements have declined since David Cameron’s austerity measures were introduced in 2010.

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the findings were shocking. He told The Guardian: “The test of ‘levelling up’ will be ministers properly funding social care and public health to now tackle these inequalities.”

The University of York study is the first to jointly analyse the effect of the significant slowdown in NHS, public health and social care spending on death rates in England.

Researchers said real social care spending rose by 2.2% per head of population between 2001-02 and 2009-10, and fell by 1.57% between 2010-11 and 2014-15. This loss of social care funding caused 23,662 additional deaths.

DR UK CEO Kamran Mallick said: “This study isn’t front page news. Society has become immune to such shocking statistics. As the government makes noises about a move back to austerity to pay for Covid measures, it needs to stop and think about the devastation they may cause to the poorest people in society, many of whom are Disabled. Disabled living comes at a premium of over £500 a month. Far too many of us can’t make ends meet as it is. Austerity is inhumane. The Chancellor has recently spoken about how inhumanity can rob us of the people we love the most. Now is a time for compassionate budgets which put people and their needs first.”